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10 Starter Homes for Digital Nomads

10 Starter Homes for Digital Nomads

So you did it! The Facebook groups and Instagram feeds inspired you to quit your job to travel the world. Now the big question is after a little vacation time, where do you go to set up a base? The great thing about having a location independent job is you can take the time to dive into a country.  My advice, set up a base in a city so you feel some sense of grounding and then explore from there. The following 10 cities are great places to launch your life as a digital nomad the list covers Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Africa.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires (BsAs) is a great starter city for would-be digital nomads. Affordable and easy to navigate by foot, subway, or taxi, the city offers neighborhoods for people on all budgets. Argentina has the fastest and most reliable internet service in South America. Take some time to learn some Argentine Spanish or try your hand a tango. Visit the nearby pampas or explore world-renowned vineyards in your free time.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $500
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $75
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $40
Coworking space StartupM3 $145

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $15
Decent bottle of red wine $7
Beer at local bar $5
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.25 per minute

 

Lima, Peru

To have Instagram tell it there isn’t much more to Peru than Machu Picchu but for those looking to establish a temporary home with reliable internet look no further than Lima. Consider the neighborhoods of San Isidro or Miraflores.  If you do not speak Spanish you will still be okay however Lima has one of the clearest Spanish accents in the world so you might want to enroll in a class or hire a tutor. With many affordable new apartment buildings, cafes, gyms, and amazing seafood, Lima is an inviting place from which you can explore all Peru has to offer.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $453
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $49
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $33
Coworking space Zona de Mejora $183

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $11
Decent bottle of red wine $12
Beer at local bar $3.50
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.14 per minute

 

Medellin, Colombia

Once one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Medellin in the past decade has completed a fascinating makeover. Now one of the safest cities in Colombia, you can find a lovely apartment nestled in the rolling hills and mountains of the very clean and green city. With a temperate climate, affordable fusion eats, and lots of foreign visitors it’s easy to make yourself at home here. There are cheap flights on local carriers to Cartagena, Cali, and Bogota from the two local airports. Or take a drive out to Guatapé and walk up the giant rock to enjoy a Michelada (beer) at the top.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival which is extendable for a stay of up to 180-days within a one-year period.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $287
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $133
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $26
Coworking space Coecoworking $90

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $5.50
Decent bottle of red wine  $11
Beer at local bar $1.75
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.08 per minute

 

Lisbon, Portugal

Set along the sea, Lisbon is a hilly city with an easy to use public transportation system. Buses, the subway, combios (trains), and the trolley can carry you just about anywhere. The city is home to numerous Lusophone Africans who brought their cuisine, music, and late night parties with them. Giant shopping malls, football stadiums, and open green spaces offer the new resident plenty to do in their off time. Strolling through the old city or catching a combio out to Casçais for a swim with the dolphins are just a few of the local attractions. Explore the home of Port wine in the north or enjoy the warm waters of the Algarve in the south.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival (the 3 months is inclusive of the Schengen Area)

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $500
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $60
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $25
Coworking space Cowork Torre Belém  $155

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $16
Decent bottle of red wine  $4.75
Beer at local bar $2.00
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.14 per minute

 

Florence, Italy

A city with the heart of an artist, Florence is a walker’s paradise. Rent a 400-year old studio and let the inspiration of renaissance artists shine through like beams of light through the arched window on your hardwood floor. It is a base from which can take affordable train rides to Venice, Milan, Tuscany, and Rome. The city is English language friendly as there is never a shortage of expats, exchange students and tourist milling about town. Think about buying a second-hand bike and ride across your new home. Put on your most stylish Italian wear and enjoy the plethora of sidewalk eateries and cafes.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival (the 3 months is inclusive of the Schengen Area)

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $600
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $95
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $30
Coworking space Smart Hub $370

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $20
Decent bottle of red wine $7
Beer at local bar $5
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.18 per minute

 

St. George, Grenada

Step into Caribbean time on the Spice Island. Grenada’s official language is English which helps in setting up your temporary home if you don’t speak another language. With reliable and affordable 10Mbps internet speeds, you may not need a coworking space if you rent a small house with a garden or an apartment with a balcony. The harbor area has a constant flux of yachters taking a pause for some duty-free and seasoning shopping in the old town. With friendly locals and a sense of community among the expats, snowbirds, and locals, St. George is a close home away from home.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival with the ability to extend it.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic 1 bedroom apartment in town $400
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $90
Unlimited internet 10 Mbps $35
No established coworking places but plenty of affordable cafes with reliable wi-fi

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $11
Decent bottle of red wine $7.50
Beer at local bar $2.00
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.04 per minute

 

Belize City, Belize

Located on the mainland, the capital city is currently being renovated but you can still snag a nice studio apartment for under $300 a month. Internet and utilities are expensive here so you might want to think about an apartment or house share. With a government program geared to American and Canadian retirees, there are plenty of bars and restaurants serving up American cuisine. From the city, you have the options of exploring the jungles, home of the Garifuna people, and the cayes with their crystal waters and white sand beaches. While English and Spanish are both official languages you will have no problem setting up your household with English alone.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival which can be extended for up to 6 months.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $270
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $165
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $70
Coworking space Alliance Business Center $295

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $20
Decent bottle of red wine  $16
Beer at local bar $2.25
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.30 per minute

 

Bucharest, Romania

Nestled in southern Romania, Bucharest continually tops the charts as one of the most affordable cities in which to live as an American expat. A former outpost of the Roman Empire the language sounds like a romance one and the architectural mix earned it the name Little Paris.  A city in the process of renovation, you can easily find a studio apartment in a nice neighborhood for under $350. The country boasts one of the fastest internet speeds in the world and the nightlife is nothing short of spectacular. Looking to change locations but still save some money, this is the city for you.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $260
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $60
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $7
Coworking space Flash Office Solutions $160

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $3.25
Decent bottle of red table $6
Beer at local bar $1.90
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.14 per minute

 

 

Casablanca, Morocco

Some refer to Casablanca as “Islamic Light” unlike some of the more conservative cities in Morroco and North Africa, Casa is a cosmopolitan metropolis teeming with expats and visitors from around the globe. Taking three months here will give you the chance to learn to make perfect mint tea, pick up some Morrocan Arabic, or even take a skiing trip in the Atlas mountains. The city is a maze of streets and alley and driving can be a harrowing experience. Take your time, make some local friends, and soon you will feel right at home in the organized chaos of Morroco’s largest city.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $295
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $29
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $23
Coworking space Netspace $210

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $3.50
Decent bottle of red wine  $9
Beer at local bar $4.75
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.14 per minute

 

 

Durban, South Africa

Durban is home to one of the largest Indian populations outside of India. This mixture of African, European, and Indian culture can be seen in the famously delicious bunny-chow. Set along the coast of the Indian Ocean, parts of Durban will remind you of everywhere from Miami Beach to Palo Alto. Since the 2010 World Cup, the city has seen an increase in popularity and reliability of internet access. Check out Morningside for a cute studio and a neighborhood with everything you need in walking distance. Public transportation can be tricky but since Uber’s arrival getting around by car is affordable.

Visa

With a US passport, you will be granted a 3-month tourist visa on arrival.

Expenses per Month

Furnished basic studio apartment $420
Utilities (heating, electric, gas) $70
Unlimited internet 8 Mbps $35
Coworking space SmartSpace $75

Basics

5-mile taxi ride $9
Decent bottle of red wine  $5
Beer at local bar $1.50
Prepaid mobile outgoing call $0.11 per minute

About The Author

During my educational and professional career, I have lived on five continents; honed my professional communications skills in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese; and learned the importance of cultural considerations in the development of communications materials.

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